welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley our top stories: the us announces new sanctions on russia over the poisoning of former russian spy sergei skripal and his daughter, in the uk. evacuations are ordered in portugal as wildfires spread through one of the country's most popular tourist regions. will argentina vote to legalise abortion? the result of an historic vote in the senate is due within hours. a bbc investigation reveals new details about those behind the barcelona attacks last year and what else they were planning. the united states is to impose new sanctions on russia in response to the nerve agent
attack in salisbury on the former russian spy sergei skripal and his daughter yulia. the state department and the cia have concluded that the russian government used chemical or biological weapons, in violation of american and international law. moscow denies any involvement in the attack. our north america correspondent chris buckler reports from washington. an attack in the middle england continues to have consequences for international relationships. and in imposing sanctions, america makes clear that it believes russia used a nerve agent in an attempted assassination here on the streets of salisbury. in the aftermath of the poisoning of the former russian double agent sergei skripal and this daughter, the united states was one of many countries that did take action. expelled dozens of russian diplomats from the us might
including many from its embassy in washington. and since then, members of congress have been pushing for the state department to make a definitive statement that russia had broken international law by using a chemical or biological weapons. in making that determination, sanctions are being automatically imposed that will prevent the sale of some electronics and sensitive technology to russia. that could put a strain on relationships at a time when donald trump appears to be trying to reach out to vladimir putin, especially as the second wave of harsher sanctions will lower our most harsher sanctions will lower our m ost m oscow harsher sanctions will lower our most moscow provides reassurance of that will not use chemical weapons against and opens up some sites to inspectors within 90 days. the kremlin is likely to resist. it continues to deny it was involved in the intended murder of sergei skripal and this daughter. however, the us isjust one of more skripal and this daughter. however, the us is just one of more than 20 countries who have taken formal action against russia and the
british government has welcomed what it cold a strong international response to the brad blakeman is a republican strategist. he joins us from washington. this decision not direct the white house, it was automatically triggered once the state department decided that moscow had done this? that is correct. we needed the information verified by our intelligence services to present to the proper authorities to make sure that the sanctions were justified. now the president is comfortable that the sanctions are not only justified but are absolutely necessary. are necessary but they are automatic once the decision was taken. these draconian sanctions that will follow within 90 days, they seem to be dependent on reassu ra nces they seem to be dependent on reassurances from russia that it will no longer use chemical weapons and will allow on—site inspections by the un. you know that russia will
never allow that so do you think more sanctions are inevitable? absolutely. as long as russia continues to miss behave and to act outside the normal rules, regulations, laws and norms then they should be punished. those sanctions will remain in effect until such time as they change their behaviour. could best derail mr trump's attempts to develop a new warm oui’ trump's attempts to develop a new warm our relationship with moscow oi’, warm our relationship with moscow or, ina warm our relationship with moscow or, in a sense, does play quite well for a who is trying to put aside these criticisms that he is too close to russia? it is up to russia whether or not the sanctions remain because it is their behaviour that must change. but certainly, donald trump has been tougher on russia than his predecessor, president 0bama. stiff sanctions that he personally put on russia, the
expelling of diplomats and the closing of diplomatic residences and buildings here in the united states. and making sure that business people who were against the interest of the united states were banned from entry oi’ united states were banned from entry or doing business with the united states. i think president trump is on the correct track with russia. using leveraged in order to change behaviour but it is up to them. this line that mr trump has been tougher than president 0bama, you know that is not true. no, it is absolutely true. 0bama went to congress in 2016 and asked for a bipartisan statement on election meddling and was rebuffed by the republicans in congress. and then after donald trump won, 0bama ordered diplomats and agents out. it is a fact that president trump went way beyond what president trump went way beyond what president 0bama had done in sanctioning russia, expelling diplomats, closing diplomatic
facilities and tanning russian business leaders. this is a fact. it is the truth and while president 0bama may have started it, donald trump took it well beyond what president 0bama was willing to do against russia. strategist you would accept that president trump has ground to make up in public perception. this is a president whose former national security adviser and foreign policy adviser have pled guilty to lying about their contact with russia and he has admitted that members of his family and his team met with representatives of the russian state at trump tower to receive russian intelligence to help them in the election. they received it. they expected to receive it. the fact that they had a meeting, the fact that they had a meeting, the fact that they had a meeting does not mean that they got information or they used information. as a matter of fa ct, they used information. as a matter of fact, we know that the dossier that was provided to the clinton
campaign was done by operatives of russia and information was exchanged. so either the russians have tried to collude, there is no pollution right now evidential link with the trump campaign but we do know that the russians tried to interfere with our election. the good news is they were not affected. we do not know any of that yet. we are waiting for the more lower enquiry. and as i'm sure you know, it did not began with the christopher steel dossier, it began when a christopher steel dossier, it began whena campaign christopher steel dossier, it began when a campaign aide bragged to an australian diplomat about help from the russians. leave it there but clearly we will talk again. wildfires have been burning forfive days in the southern portuguese region of the algarve, popular among european holiday makers. near record temperatures of around 45 degrees celsius last week have made putting out the fires difficult. 0livia crellin reports. carrying their loved ones to safety — children, pets, the elderly, the sick.
police evacuated residents of portugul‘s historic town, silves, as fires but for the fifth day in the region of the algarve. authorities make sure that even those reluctant to leave got out as the clouds of smoke towered overhead, the line of fire steadily advancing over the hillside. more than 1,400 firefighters and soldiers battled the fire by land and by air as it encroached on the mountain spa town of monchique. most tourists have already been evacuated. remaining residents can only watch on. while no—one has died yet, the fire has injured more than 30 people and forced hundreds from their homes. they're becoming an increasingly common and sometimes deadly feature of the portuguese summer landscape. last year, 114 people died.
the government had taken extra precautions after last year, but with near—record temperatures in the region, the difficulty in putting out these fires has raised doubts over their effectiveness. translation: see all the planes flying? and yet it continues and it gets worse every time. in 2003, we already experienced the same thing, and it's happening again. as you see, it's a disaster. it's really miserable, don't you think? it's really sad, very sad to see our country as it is. prime minister antonio costa has warned that it could burn for days before being brought under control. already the fire has charred thousands of acres, turning portuguese countryside to dust. 0livia crellin, bbc news. the palestinian authorities say a woman
and her 18—month—old child have been killed in a series of israeli airstrikes on the gaza strip. the israeli army said it was targeting what it called terror sites in the palestinian territory, in response to rockets being fired into israel. two rockets struck the town of sderot, injuring sixteen people. prosecutors in new mexico say a man arrested over the abuse of 11 children was training some of them to carry out school shootings. siraj wahhaj was among five people arrested after children aged between one and 15 years old were found malnourished in a remote desert compound. the property had no running water with living conditions described as ‘third world' by police. in venezuela, opposition lawmaker juan requesens has been arrested after president nicolas maduro accused him of being involved in saturday's alleged drone attack against him. the arrest came as a government official revealed plans to strip two other mps of their immunity. seven people have been detained so far in connection with the alleged assassination attempt. in the next few hours
argentina's senate will declare the result of voting on whether to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. the bill would make argentina the third latin american country to broadly legalise abortion, after cuba and uruguay. from buenos aires, here's our correspondent katy watson. a majority of senators, around 38 of the 72 senators, have said that they intend to vote against the bill. but they're still talking about it. that could change at the moment of voting. but as it stands, it looks like this bill won't pass, certainly in this session. katy, argentina's been seen as something of a leader on human rights issues in the region, and this law, this attempt at a law, has come back many times already, hasn't it? that's right. in the last ten or so years since the national campaign for abortion has been active, they've presented seven bills to congress and not one of them has
moved, apart from this year when president macri said, "right, now‘s the time to discuss this." he himself is not in favour of legalising abortion, but he was very open to the idea that congress would debate it. in the last few months, the scenario's changed quite dramatically here in argentina. campaigners never thought they would see this moment. i've been down speaking to people right behind me, there are people who are pro—legalisation, people who are anti, and the feeling is, you know, there's been such a quick pace of change, people here weren't expecting anything like this that we're seeing today. so there are tens of thousands of people outside waiting for the senators to start voting and see whether or not they will be legalising abortion. so whatever happens really today, this is going to come back? that seems to be the case, yes. i mean, you speak to people here, the feeling is that it might not
pass today but they'll bring a new bill, and they can bring that next year, so march, 2019 they'd be able to start debating it again. the fact is, in the last three years, the women's rights movement has really pushed this issue up the agenda. they say the moment's come now to legalise abortion so it sooner rather than later as opposed to not at all. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: commemorations are held to remember those who took part in the campaign that helped bring about the end of the first world war. the question was whether we want to save our people, and japanese as well, and win the war or whether we want to take a chance on being able to win the war by killing all our young men. the invasion began at 2am this morning. mr bush, like most other people, was clearly caught by surprise. we call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal
of all the iraqi forces. 100 years old and still full of vigor, vitality and enjoyment of life. no other king or queen in british history has lived so long, and the queen mother is said to be quietly very pleased indeed that she's achieved this landmark anniversary. this is a pivotal moment for the church as an international movement. the question now is whether the american vote will lead to a split in the anglican community. this is bbc world news. 0ne main headline: the us plans to slap new sanctions on russia, after deciding moscow was behind
the nerve agent attack on sergei skripal and his daughter. a bbc investigation has discovered that a group of men responsible for last year's attacks in and around barcelona included militants who'd showed signs of radicalisation a year before. 16 people died, at least 100 were injured in the two—vehicle attack, which police believe may have been directed from abroad. here's our security correspondent, gordon corera. preparing for an attack. wiring up explosives and suicide vests. this group would end up striking barcelona. the man seen here on the left drove a van which barrelled half a kilometre down a road packed with tourists, killing 1a. hours later, five men from the same cell drive a car into pedestrians in nearby cambrils, killing one woman. —— drove a car. all five were shot dead by police. authorities only then realised that an accidental explosion a day earlier had blown apart a house
the cell had been using for over a year in the town of alcanar. this is where they were preparing bombs for a much larger intended attack. we've been told other men were also seen there. the entire cell had come from this small town, ripoll, close to the pyrenees. a year on, people who knew the men are still scared to talk, but one person who knew them well agreed to talk to us anonymously. more and more pictures of the kids started to come out and then we felt like we were sinking. the kids are from ripoll. we are from ripoll. this is like a family. the cell behind the attack was made up of a group of friends. it included four sets of brothers. all of this seemed to point to a tight—knit cell, according to a police intelligence officer, who also spoke anonymously. translation: the fact that there were four pairs of brothers, this had never happened before,
and in a town like ripoll, a small town, this had never happened before either. also part of the group was a key figure, an imam, abdelbaki es satty. the imam, es satty, was killed here in the blast in alcanar. he was older than the others and had a long track record of links to extremists going back more than a decade. so the question is, what did the authorities know about him? abdelbaki es satty first came to the attention of the authorities soon after he came from morocco in 2002. he was connected to one person investigated in relation to the madrid train bombings in 200a. he lived in the same flat as a man who went on to be a suicide bomber in iraq. the bbc has learned es satty was also on a database of those connected to terrorism. in 2010, he was jailed for transporting drugs between morocco and spain. in 2014, he was released from jail. we've established that, at this point, his phone was tapped
by spanish intelligence. he would later claim he'd become an informer for the police. an order to expel him from spain was overturned and, a month after that, he moved to the town of ripoll. but he then went to brussels, where he tried to become an imam at a mosque. some people who are frequenting that mosque were very surprised by the way he was preaching. i think he was very offensive, he was very unusual. in march 2016, brussels was hit by bomb blasts, and a few weeks later, es satty left belgium. after es satty left brussels, he came back here to ripoll, rented a number of apartments in this building, and soon after that came the first signs of radicalisation among the other men as the cell began to form. i detected this about a year before it happened. also a lot of people said it too. they closed up among themselves. after the attack in barcelona, this apartment, rented by es satty, was raided.
at first, most thought he was the key figure in explaining what drove a group of apparently well integrated young men towards violence. i think they were missing something. they had a void, a spiritual void, a religious void let's say. they didn't know enough about their religion. maybe they had some kind of rage or perhaps someone created that rage in them. but the investigation has spread much further afield than ripoll. senior police officers have told the bbc they now believe there are links across europe, and perhaps to figures directing this group. translation: our main concern right now is basically the international connections. in some ways, we think that there is some brain outside of spain, maybe in europe or maybe in a conflict zone, someone who made them carry out this attack. this was more than just a group of friends led by a known extremist,
tight—knit and hard to detect. we found evidence they were part of something much larger, connected to widerjihadist networks which threaten europe. gordon corera, bbc news, ripoll. the organisers of the oscars are taking steps to address the falling popularity of the ceremony. to get more on this, we talk to a hollywood press journalist in los angeles. we area bit press journalist in los angeles. we are a bit press the time, i am afraid. wejust are a bit press the time, i am afraid. we just want to understand what is going on here, what is this all about? the oscars this year was the lowest rated ever, i understand that disney, which owns bbc, which broadcasts that, at the academy, they are all worried about people
just drifting away from this broadcast, so what they are trying to do is bring in most popular. they had not described what that would be, how they would describe that, but that remains to be seen, and they will cut together, it during commercial breaks they will present some of the craft awards and then they will do a little montage when they will do a little montage when they come back, as was done with the tony awards for broadway here. and that will restrict the actual television broadcast i think the three hours. what i think the oscars has become less relevant and is there a danger that this most popular category might chip in the brand in some way? there is a lot of concern about that, that it turns into a popularity people's choice type of show. you look at a movie like black panther, which many people thought would be awarded anyway, they expanded up to 12 movies to include many more of the
so—called popular movies and that may be regulated, animated movies we re may be regulated, animated movies were relegated away from best picture when they created the best animated picture award. they are worried that may happen with some of the so—called popular movies, some of them that were nominated last year, movies like gets 0ut, that was quite popular last year. where would you put those movies in the system? some people worry it might kill the weird, strange, spontaneous thank you is that get a lot of attention. it is going to be very controversial but the academy has a huge board and the fact that that many people agreed with this and those people in the craft categories that would not be in the telecast except for this montage, it suggests that there is also support and concern about whether the show is viable. i mean it is viable, but is losing by ability? thank you very much. my pleasure. 3000 people have attended commemorations at amiens cathedral in north—eastern france, marking the centenary
of the battle that turned the tide of the first world war. it only lasted four days, it was one of the most successful though for the allies. robert hall reports. this is a landscape where the course of a terrible conflict was changed. in amiens cathedral, music and personal accounts combined to tell that story. the attack at amiens was a total surprise. at dawn, a huge allied bombardment systemically destroyed german guns. the smoke barely clearing before 500 tanks led men from six countries in an advance which took some of them eight miles into enemy territory. amiens was symbolic of the entente cordiale... a battle whose significance was underlined by the duke of cambridge. today, we return to learn more about the experience of those involved during the historic summer of 1918.
to honour the fallen of all nations. the amiens attacks were planned to the last detail. as the clock ticked down, commanders penned their final messages. "every man will carry on to the utmost of his powers until his goal is won." "to those who fall, i say you will not die, but step into immortality." by lunchtime on the first day, men could hardly believe the contrast with the chaos of previous offensives. "the americans swept everything before them and the german resistance colla psed." "the sun broke through, we began to see the countryside that we hadn't seen for quite some time. it was unscarred. all sorts of cultivated land. we began to feel, byjove, the war's coming to an end." at least 30,000 german lives were lost, thousands
more surrendered, convincing commanders that the time had come to consider a ceasefire. age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. today's ceremony remembered the fallen, but also served to highlight a crucial moment in a long and costly conflict. robert hall, bbc news, amiens. thank you very much for being with us. much more to come on bbc news in the next few hours. we are keeping an eye on that vote on abortion in argentina, and also that special congressional race in the us still
undecided. thank you so much for watching. hello there. things are looking cooler and fresher now for the rest of this week, particularly across northern and western areas, with a mixture of sunshine and showers. some of the showers will continue to be quite heavy as well, maybe with the risk of thunder. the reason for the cooler air, area of low pressure has driven out the heat into the near continent, introducing something cooler and fresher off the atlantic, and we'll maintain a west or south—westerly airflow. now, early on thursday, we will see further showers returning to western scotland and northern ireland, some of them could be quite heavy, and across central, southern and eastern parts of england, thickening cloud moving uo from the south will bring a few showers or even some patchy rain. across scotland and northern ireland, it's going to be a chilly start to this morning, temperatures in low single figures in some areas. so for thursday itself, it's looking bright with plenty of sunshine around. there will continue to be some blustery showers across the north
and west of scotland, into northern ireland. then across the south—east, an area of rain moving up across the near continent could just graze south—east england and also east anglia. now, the winds will generally be light, i think, across england and wales. blustery across scotland and northern ireland. there's a chance as this area of low pressure deepens here, it could turn windier for a time across the very far south—east, so it could be quite a soggy end to the day here. pretty nasty evening commute, i think, for some. bit of uncertainty into the west with the extent of this rain, looks like the heaviest of the stuff will be across into the near continent. that area of low pressure pushes on in towards the north sea as we head on in towards friday. a ridge of high pressure tries to build in, and an area of low pressure looms out in the atlantic and will arrive just in time for the weekend. so for friday's picture then, we're in between the weather systems. it's going to be a day of sunshine and showers, and some of them could be the heavy side, again with a rumble of thunder.
but hit and miss, some areas staying dry altogether, and in the sunshine, not too bad, temperatures from 17 to 22, cooler than what we've been used to, particularly in the south—east. this area of low pressure hurtles in from the atlantic, arrives across northern and western areas on saturday. meanwhile, an area of high pressure establishes itself across the south—east. there's still some uncertainty to this weekend as to where the rain will be. we're thinking at the moment it's going to wetter in the north and west of the uk. the further south and east you are, the better chance of staying dry. it could be much of scotland and northern ireland quite windy with outbreaks of rain, some of it could be quite heavy. for central, southern and eastern parts of england in particular, you could get away with seeing good spells of sunshine and feeling quite warm. this is bbc news. the headlines: the us is imposing fresh sanctions on russia over the nerve agent attack on the former russian spy sergei skripal and his daughter in the english town of salisbury. the state department and the cia have concluded that moscow used lethal chemical or biological
weapons — violating american and international law. evacuations continue in one of portugal's most popular tourist regions as wildfires blaze out of control. the fires have been burning for five days in the southern algarve region more than a thousand firefighters and soldiers have been called in to try and stop the flames from spreading further. senators in argentina are debating whether to pass a bill allowing abortion during the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy — an issue that has divided the predominantly catholic country. the law currently allows the procedure only in the case of rape or if the woman's life is endangered. now on bbc news, hardtalk‘s stephen sackur talks to associate chair of the democratic party,